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Expert SEO Tactics for Diagnosing and Curing the Penguin Flu

There’s a sickness that’s affecting the SEO community, and the expert SEO ‘doctors’ have the cure. It’s remarkably simple, but everyone keeps looking for some sort of snake-oil because the cure, while simple, is painful.

Diagnosing the Penguin Flu: Do You Have Link Penalties?
There are a few ways to know if Google is penalizing you. The most obvious is that you’ve gotten this letter from Google:

This is pretty clearly telling you that you need to switch some things up (see below). If you log into your Webmaster Tools account and find a message like this, it’s time to worry.

Of course, if you don’t have a message like that and you’re still dropping in the SERPs, you may still have the Penguin Flu — it just means that Google didn’t see fit to warn you before they hit you hard. How do you know whether or not your drop in the SERPs is due to Penguin? Simple — check your traffic logs. If you see a 33% or greater drop in search traffic in the last week of April or first few days of May, it’s the Penguin Flu. So what do you do about it?

Curing the Penguin Flu: The DeSpaminating
The Penguin update wasn’t so much about making Google searches better as it was about uncovering and penalizing certain specific types of link spam that have become overly used even in top SEO circles. In specific:

  • Anchor text over-optimization (i.e. too many of your incoming links
  • Link networks
  • Links from client pages (i.e. all those tiny “X service provided by Y company” links at the bottom of websites.
  • Outgoing links to low-quality websites

Penguin also increased the penalty for having over-dense keywords on your web pages. If you want to cure the Penguin Flu on your website, you can see quite clearly what you have to do. Spread out your anchor text. Unhook yourself from any link networks like BuildMyRank or it’s competitors. If you use links from your client’s pages, don’t put keywords in them. And only link out to high-quality websites.

That’s how you cure the Penguin Flu. Like I said, it’s simple…it just hurts.

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